An Introduction to Facebook Retargeting Ads

Keeping a first-time customer on your site until purchase is never an easy process. According to Hubspot, 96% of visitors that land on your website are not ready to buy. Many people are on-the-go when they first find products and browse sites on their cell phones- but very few of those online shoppers complete their transactions there. This means that customers are often engaged and then distracted, losing track of their original desire to purchase in the first place. Reminding these buyers of the quality of your products is where Facebook re-targeting ads come in handy. Building these ads will help you to focus on people who are in-market and interested in your product and persuade them to complete their purchase.

Facebook Ad Set Up

Focused and personalized Facebook  re-targeting ads are easy to set up. All you need is a Facebook Ad account, product catalog, and website. Once you have uploaded your catalog to your Ad account, you will need to take the Facebook Pixel from the “Pixel” section of Facebook and input it into the “Preferences” section of your online store.

Read detailed steps on how to connect Facebook with Shopify here.

Once you have connected your website with your Facebook ads account, you can start crafting your campaign in the dynamic campaign editor (we recommend the carousel format for more product options), pick the audience you want to target, choose a budget, and turn the “Facebook Pixel” option on.

Facebook Audiences

The easiest audience to advertise to is customers who have browsed your site, added items into their cart, and then left. Those who abandoned carts or left the site without purchasing likely did so because they were distracted or because they thought they could get a better deal elsewhere. Win them back by offering deals that portray your product as being too good of an opportunity to pass up. One-time discounts or an ad that highlights your free shipping policy have proven to perform well.

Shopify also allows you to create and target lookalike audiences that have similar interests to the people that have already been engaged. Reel these customers in by including a lead capture form that allows them to subscribe to your newsletter so that you can target them on email as well.

Other types of customers include those who have spent a certain amount of time on your site or that have visited the FAQ page. For these, we recommend including a testimonial or deal to address whatever made these customers hesitate to buy.

Best Practices

Re-targeting ads should be sent to the above audiences with clear images and text within several days of their last activity on your site. This way, your product will be fresh in their mind and they will likely still be interested in purchasing.

When you are re-targeting on Facebook, try to exclude recent purchasers from your audience pool at first, since they are already likely to return to shop with you. However, If you must include recent purchasers, put them in their own audience and up-sell other products that they may be interested in, or that may go well with what they had already bought.

We hope this guide will help you to get started with Facebook re-targeting. Once you get used to the platform, you will be able to narrow down audiences, expand your reach, and reel in new customers.


For more information on the basics of Facebook advertising, check out our article The Retailer’s Guide to Facebook Advertising.

By Phoebe Mcgee

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